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Why have not the names of the Imams been mentioned explicitly in Quran?
ID: 12 Publish Date: 06 January 2016 - 10:21 Count Views: 3415
Question & Answer » Imam Ali
Why have not the names of the Imams been mentioned explicitly in Quran?

Inquirer: Morteza Jabbari and Muhammad Noor

Explaining the question:

Why have not been mentioned the names of the Imams explicitly in Quran?

1.   Please explain about resorting to something other than God with regard to Quran?

2.   Please explain why the names of the Imams have not been mentioned explicitly in Quran? I know some implied evidences in this regard in Quran?

3.   Please explain about eating the flesh of a slaughtered animal and those foods which are prepared with it; is it not forbidden eating it? People make some things as vow to Allah or a sacred person; when they are asked "for what?" they reply we have slaughtered this animal as vow to (for example) Imam Hussain (AS); so what is the Islamic rule for such things which are donated with the name of somebody (Imam Hussain (AS)) other than Allah?

Reply to the first question:

Resorting to prophets (PBUH), the righteous (Salihun) and all those who are honored before Allah are approved by the Holy Quran. There are many verses in this regard which I will just mention two.

قَالُوا يَا أَبَانَا اسْتَغْفِرْ لَنَا ذُنُوبَنَا إِنَّا كُنَّا خَاطِئِينَ . يوسف / 97 .

God quotes the story of the Josef 's brothers in this verse. The verse says that after that the brothers regretted from their behaviors came back to their fathers, Hazrat Jacob (AS), and requested him to plead to God to forgive them. Hazrat Jacob (AS) didn’t say to them to resort to Allah but he promised them to request forgiveness from God for them:

قَالَ سَوْفَ أَسْتَغْفِرُ لَكُمْ رَبِّي إِنَّهُ هُوَ الْغَفُورُ الرَّحِيمُ

He said, ‘I shall plead with my Lord to forgive you; indeed He is the All-forgiving, the All-merciful.’

وَلَوْ أَنَّهُمْ إِذْ ظَلَمُوا أَنْفُسَهُمْ جَاءُوكَ فَاسْتَغْفَرُوا اللَّهَ وَاسْتَغْفَرَ لَهُمُ الرَّسُولُ لَوَجَدُوا اللَّهَ تَوَّابًا رَحِيمًا . النساء / 64 .

Had they, when they wronged themselves, come to you and pleaded to Allah for forgiveness, and the Apostle had pleaded for forgiveness for them, they would have surely found Allah all-clement, all-merciful.

God, in this verse, specifies that His servants resort to the Holy Prophet (PBUH) and plead forgiveness from God by him.

These two verses are the best evidence to prove the trueness of resorting to the sacred which is the same practice of the Shiites in resorting to the holy prophet (PBUH) and the Imams (AS) as the Shiites say:

يا ابا القاسم يا رسول الله (صلي الله عليه وآله وسلم ) يا امام الرحمة يا سيدنا ومولانا انا توجهنا واستشفعنا وتوسلنا بك الى الله وقد مناك بين يدى حاجاتنا يا وجيها عند الله اشفع لنا عند الله.

What is difference between the «يا أبانا استغفر لنا »  and  «يارسول الله استغفرلنا » ?

Question 2:

Why have not the names of the Imams been mentioned explicitly in Quran? I know some implied evidences in this regard in Quran.


We will present you some replies to this question:

The first reply:

There exist only general principles and teachings in the Holy Quran and their Provisions and teachings are assigned to the holy prophet (SAWA) as God states in the holy Quran:

وَأَنْزَلْنَا إِلَيْكَ الذِّكْرَ لِتُبَيِّنَ لِلنَّاسِ مَا نُزِّلَ إِلَيْهِمْ وَلَعَلَّهُمْ يَتَفَكَّرُونَ . النحل / 44 .

And sent them] with manifest proofs and scriptures. We have sent down the reminder to you so that you may clarify for the people that which has been sent down to them, so that they may reflect.

وَمَا أَنْزَلْنَا عَلَيْكَ الْكِتَابَ إِلَّا لِتُبَيِّنَ لَهُمُ الَّذِي اخْتَلَفُوا فِيهِ . النحل /64 .

We did not send down the Book to you except [for the purpose] that you may clarify for them what they differ about, and as a guidance and mercy for a people who have faith.

And there are many verses which have obliged prophet 's obedience for all people, including:

وَمَا آَتَاكُمُ الرَّسُولُ فَخُذُوهُ وَمَا نَهَاكُمْ عَنْهُ فَانْتَهُوا . الحشر / 7 .

Take whatever the Apostle gives you, and relinquish whatever he forbids you.

And there are dozens of other verses to prove but this one verse will suffice.

For example Quran has stated the phrase «اقيموا الصلاة » which means »perform the prayers« but it has not explained the quality of prayers from the times of its performing to the number of parts (Rak 'at) and the contents (verses need to be recited). These cases have been assigned to the Holy Prophet (PBUH), the prophet has stated in this regard:

صلوا كما رأيتموني اصلي .

Perform the prayer like me.

-Ketab Al-Mosnad, Al-Emam Al-Shafei, p 55, Al-Sonan Al-Kobra, Al-Beihaghi, v 2 p 345. Sahih Al-Bokhari, Al-Bokhari, v 1 p 155, v 7 p 77, v 8 p 133

Generalities of Imamah have been mentioned in many verses; for example God says in Quran about Hazrat Ibrahim (AS):

إِنِّي جَاعِلُكَ لِلنَّاسِ إِمَامًا قَالَ وَمِنْ ذُرِّيَّتِي قَالَ لَا يَنَالُ عَهْدِي الظَّالِمِينَ . البقره / 124 .

He said, ‘I am making you the Imam of mankind.’ Said he, ‘And from among my descendants?’ He said, ‘My pledge does not extend to the unjust.’

وَجَعَلْنَاهُمْ أَئِمَّةً يَهْدُونَ بِأَمْرِنَا . الأنبياء / 73 .

We made them imams, guiding by Our command.

يَا أَيُّهَا الرَّسُولُ بَلِّغْ مَا أُنْزِلَ إِلَيْكَ مِنْ رَبِّكَ وَإِنْ لَمْ تَفْعَلْ فَمَا بَلَّغْتَ رِسَالَتَهُ وَاللَّهُ يَعْصِمُكَ مِنَ النَّاسِ . المائده / 67 .

O Apostle! Communicate that which has been sent down to you from your Lord, and if you do not, you will not have communicated His message, and Allah shall protect you from the people.

الْيَوْمَ أَكْمَلْتُ لَكُمْ دِينَكُمْ وَأَتْمَمْتُ عَلَيْكُمْ نِعْمَتِي وَرَضِيتُ لَكُمُ الْإِسْلَامَ دِينًا . المائدة / 3 .

Today I have perfected your religion for you, and I have completed My blessing upon you, and I have approved Islam as your religion.

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آَمَنُوا أَطِيعُوا اللَّهَ وَأَطِيعُوا الرَّسُولَ وَأُولِي الْأَمْرِ مِنْكُمْ . النساء / 59 .

O you who have faith! Obey Allah and obey the Apostle and those vested with authority among you.

And there are dozens of other verses which clearly specifies the generalities of Imamah. Beginning in the third year of the Prophet 's mission, he starts to warn his people:

وَأَنْذِرْ عَشِيرَتَكَ الْأَقْرَبِينَ . الشعراء / 214 .

Warn the nearest of your kinsfolk.

And there are also authentic narrations from Sunni Grandees which state in that session the prophet (PBUH) raised up Ali 's (AS) hand and said:

وهذا اخي ووصيي وخليفتي من بعدي .

This person is my brother, and the executor (Wasi) and the Caliph after me.

After this event the prophet (PBUH) has raised the case in different opportunities.

Later on he has raised these matters in appropriate opportunities. In the last year of his life in a place named Ghadir in a large assembly of more than one hundred thousand persons he raised the issue. How could the prophet raise this subject clearer than this?

The second reply:

It is true that the names of the Imams (AS) have not been mentioned in Quran but God has spoken well about them, for example God says about Hazrat Ali (AS) in Quran as follows:

إِنَّمَا وَلِيُّكُمُ اللَّهُ وَرَسُولُهُ وَالَّذِينَ آَمَنُوا الَّذِينَ يُقِيمُونَ الصَّلَاةَ وَيُؤْتُونَ الزَّكَاةَ وَهُمْ رَاكِعُونَ . المائدة / 55 .

Your guardian is only Allah, His Apostle, and the faithful who maintain the prayer and give the zakat while bowing down.

Based on specification of many Sunni scholars the aforementioned verse has been revealed on Amir al-Mu 'mineen (AS). Qazi Azod al-Din Iji (deid in 756 AH) says in this regard:

وأجمع أئمّة التفسير أنّ المراد علي .

-Al-Movafegh Fi Elm Al-Kalam, p 405

According to the consensus of leaders and scholars this verse is about Ali (AS).

And S 'ad al-Din Taftazani also specifies:

نزلت باتّفاق المفسّرين في علي بن أبي طالب ، رضي اللّه عنه ، حين أعطى خاتمه وهو راكع في صلاته .

-Sharh Al-Maghased Fi Elm Al-Kalam, v 5 p 270

According to the consensus of the Qur 'an commentators, this verse has been revealed about Ali (as) who gave his ring to the needy while bowing down in his prayer.

And also Ala ' al-Din Ali Ibn Muhammad Hanafi, known as Qushji, says in this regard:

إنّها نزلت باتفاق المفسّرين في حق علي بن أبي طالب حين أعطى السائل خاتمه وهو راكع في صلاته .

-Sharh Tajrid Al-Eteghad, p 368

According to the consensus of all the commentators, this verse has been revealed about Ali (as) who gave his ring to the needy while bowing down in his prayer.

And also Alusi says:

غالب الأخباريّين على أنّ هذه الآية نزلت في علي كرّم اللّه وجهه .

-Ruh Al-Maani, v 6 p 168

Most of the Akhbaris (people who reject the use of reasoning in deriving verdicts, and believe Qur 'an and Hadith as the only source of law.) believe that this verse has been revealed about Hazrat Ali (AS).

Does not this verse suffice for true believers? Was it necessary for God to mention the name of all the Imams (AS) one by one?

The third reply:

If God had mentioned the name of the Imams (AS) in Quran, would the followers of Saqifah have been willing to accept them? Those who attributed delirium to the holy prophet (PBUH) and said:

ان الرجل ليهجر .

If his name mentioned in Quran, the leadership of Imam Ali (AS) would not be accepted by them and they wouldn’t say:

ان جبرئيل قد هجر ؟

Or Na 'oozo Billah they wouldn’t say that God has deduced the laws so we ourselves are Mujtahid and we don’t need any other person 's deduction like Imams (AS).

We are sure that even if the name of Imam Ali (AS) had been mentioned in Quran, the Saqifah followers didn’t still accept this, as they didn’t accept many of other Islamic laws such as concubine. Is not there any explicit verse in Quran about concubine?

فَمَا اسْتَمْتَعْتُمْ بِهِ مِنْهُنَّ فَآَتُوهُنَّ أُجُورَهُنَّ فَرِيضَةً . النساء / 24 .

For the enjoyment you have had from them thereby, give them their dowries, by way of settlement, and there is no sin upon you in what you may agree upon after the settlement.

Qortabi says:

وقال الجمهور المراد نكاح المتعة الذي كان في صدر الإسلام .

-Tafsir Ghartabi, v 5 p 120. Fath Al-Ghadir, v 1 p 449. Tafsir tabari, v 5 p 18

What is meant by the phrase   « فَمَا اسْتَمْتَعْتُمْ »in this verse is concubine which has been prevalent in the early days of Islam.

And there are tens of narrations in Sahih Bukhari from Jabir and others which specify that some had concubine even in exchange for a handful of wheat.

Muhammad Ibn Ismail Bukhari states in his book:

حدثنا مسدد حدثنا يحيى عن عمران أبى بكر حدثنا أبو رجاء عن عمران بن حصين رضى الله تعالى عنه قال نزلت آية المتعة في كتاب الله ففعلناها مع رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم ولم ينزل قرآن يحرمه ولم ينه عنها حتى مات قال رجل برأيه ما شاء قال محمد يقال إنه عمر .

-Sahih Al-Bokhari, v 5 p 158


Concubine verse was revealed to the Prophet (PBUH), and we acted according to the verse at the time of prophet (PBUH) and there were no verse to forbid us from it and also the prophet didn’t forbid us from it until his death. There were only a man who did and said according to his desire and he was Umar Ibn Khattab.

And also Moslem Neyshabouri quotes in his book:

قال عطاء قدم جابر بن عبد الله معتمرا فجئناه في منزله فسأله القوم عن أشياء ثم ذكروا المتعة فقال نعم استمتعنا على عهد رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم وأبى بكر وعمر .

-Sahih Moslem, v 4 p 131

Atta ' says: Jabir Ibn Abdullah came to Mecca for Umrah. I went to his house. People asked him about Islamic laws and also about concubine, at this time Jabir Ibn Abdullah said: yes we selected concubines for ourselves at the time of Rasoolullah (s.a.w).

He also quotes in other place:

عن أبي نضرة قال كنت عند جابر بن عبد الله فاتاه آت فقال إن ابن عباس وابن الزبير اختلفا في المتعتين فقال جابر فعلناهما مع رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم ثم نهانا عنهما عمر فلم نعد لهما .

-Sahih Moslem, v 4 p 59

I was with Jabir Ibn Abdullah, Abdullah Ibn Abbas and Abdullah Ibn Zubayr were in disagreement with two kinds of Mut 'ah (Mut 'a al-Nisa ' & Mut 'ah of the Hajj). Jabir Ibn Abdullah said: we practiced both of them at the time of Rasoolullah (PBUH) and after Umar prohibited both we didn’t practice none of them.

The Sunnites believe that Umar preferred to forbid the practice of Mut 'ah.

متعتان كانتا على عهد رسول الله ، صلى الله عليه وآله – أنا أنهى عنهما ، وأعاقب عليهما ، متعة النساء ومتعة الحج .

Two kinds of Mut 'ah was Halal (permissible) at the time of Rasoolullah, which I forbid it and everyone who practices it, I will punish him: one is Mut 'ah of the Hajj and the other is Mut 'a al-Nisa '.

-Al-Izah, Al-Fazala Ben Shazan Al-Azadi, p 443.Mosnad Ahmad, Al-Emam Ahmad Ben Hanbal, v 1 p 52, v 3 p 325. Al-Sonan Al-Kobra, Al-Beihaghi, v 7 p 206. Marefat Al-Sonan Al-Athar, Al-Beihaghi, v 5 p 345. Al-Estezkar, Ibn Abd Al-Ber, v 4 p 95. Ahkam al-Quran, Al-Jesas, v 1 p 338. Ahkam Al-Quran, Al-Jesas, v 2 p 191. Tafsir Al-Razi, Al-Razi, v 5 p 167. Tazkerat Al-Hefaz, Al-Zahabi, v 1 p 366. Mizan Al-Etedal, Al-Zahabi, v 3 p 552

The interesting point is that when Mr. Sarakhsi Hanafi and Ibn Qudamah Hanbali, of the Sunni figures, say about Mut 'ah as follows:

وقد صح أن عمر رضي الله عنه نهي الناس عن المتعة .

It is true that Umar has prohibited the practice of Mut 'ah.

They didn’t accept the practice of Mut 'ah which has been specified in Quran, so how could they accept Ali (AS) if his name was in Quran and even they said:

ان الله تبارك و تعالي قد عين علياً للإمامة ولكن عمر عزله .

So, even if the name of the Imams was in Quran, there was no guarantee that the Sunnis accept it.

Question No. 3

Some people make a vow, when they are asked for the reason; they will say we make a vow to Imam Hussain (AS).

According to the Quran: "Eating what is slaughtered in the name of other than Allah is forbidden", so is not it forbidden eating what is slaughtered in the name of other than Allah? (Please explain completely.)


The vows which Shiites make in the months of Muharram and Safar is for the intention of Qurbah (accquiring nearness to God) to Allah and but the vow holder donates its reward to Imam Hussain (AS). The reason for our claim is that no one brings up Imam Hussain 's name instead the name of Allah while slaughtering. So this vow cannot be considered as for other than Allah and as a result, eating it, is permissible.

Good Luck

The group of answering to misgivings

The research institute of Hazrat Valiasr (AJ 's)

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